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Shell "apologises" for worldwide damage in annual report.

18 May 2011

Cover image for Shell alternative report 2011

Shell 'apologises' for worldwide damage in annual report

New report exposes Shell involvement in corruption, slavery and environmental destruction on five continents

Shareholders at Shell's AGM today (THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS, 17 May 2011) received a last minute correction to Shell's annual report, admitting
corporate responsibility for bribery, slavery, pollution and human rights abuses on five continents, and pledging to do better.
Shell 'admits' that it is "causing a lot of unwanted and unnecessary damage" in its global oil and gas operations. The company also states that Shell "has learnt from these mistakes" and pledges to take "full responsibility to prevent and mitigate costs for the environment and people affected by our operations".

The spoof report published by Friends of the Earth International today highlights 12 cases from 5 different continents.

Commenting, Molly Walsh with Friends of the Earth in Ireland said "What is clear from this report is that Shell are a destructive and dangerous company the world over. There are examples in this report from Kazakstan to Brazil, but we need look no further than Northwest Mayo to see Shell trying to trample over the rights of a local community[2]. The community resistance to Shell's attempts to build a high pressure gas pipeline in Erris, County Mayo has resulted in the kind of human rights violations that are Shell's trade-mark on every continent. Its time for Shell to take full responsibility for their actions here and everywhere."

Friends of the Earth's document displays climate and other environmental impacts from Shell's oil and gas operations, but also shows the involvement of Shell in the violation of human rights and labour irregularities. Furthermore, the report lists cases of corruption and interference with politics in order to ensure business profits. The document, which should serve as a wake up call for Shell's shareholders and board, is backed by an in-depth report about the 12 cases involving life threatening pollution, bribery, slavery and violation of national and international laws.

Paul de Clerck, coordinator of the corporates campaign at Friends of the Earth International, said: "We expect that the promises in this report we wrote for Shell will become reality. Shell is aware of the damage it is causing to the environment and of the violation of rights of local communities that it is involved in. We want the company to take measures to restore this damage and to prevent further wrongdoing".

During the presentation of the document to Shell's shareholders and board, today, representatives from different communities affected by Shell's wrongdoing were present:

Eric Dooh, a Nigerian farmer who is taking Shell to court in The Netherlands [3] for refusal to clean up oil spills in his fishponds and on his fields said: "Oil spills from Shell pipelines caused the water and agricultural land in our village to be severely polluted. We want Shell to clean up the pollution so we can fish and farm again".

Lionel Lepine, representing the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation in Canada said: "Shell's tar sand operations are disrupting our traditional way of life. They are destroying our air, water, land and medicinal plants and the birds, fish and animals we depend on to sustain our people" Mr. Lepine also
stated that "Shell's footprint in our lands will have a multi-generational effect on our children not yet born, they are violating our Indigenous rights, the rights of our sacred Mother Earth and we are here at their AGM to put them on notice that we will stop them."

Friends of the Earth International demands from Shell that the company:

- Cleans up pollution and compensates victims

- Improves maintenance of its operations to avoid new cases of pollution

- Reduces the carbon footprint of its operations

- Terminates operations posing severe risks to water supplies, health, agriculture and biodiversity, such as high-volume gas-fracking, tar sands, Arctic and deep sea drilling

- Ceases the violation of human rights and compensates victims.

 

ENDS


NOTES

[1] The spoof report can be downloaded here: http://www.foe.ie/assets/files/pdf/shell_alternative_report_2011.pdf

[2] More information on the campaign against Shell in Mayo can be found at http://www.shelltosea.com/

[3] On May 19, Eric Dooh will for the first time face Shell in court during a hearing in The Hague. For more information about the court case and about what will happen on May 19, please visit Friends of the Earth Netherlands at: www.milieudefensie.nl/english/shellinnigeria

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